Thrift Tour
October 06 2009

Sam, Umberto, Lee and Fred spent a month traveling around the west coast of America. They were put up in LA by Brandon Negrete and his girlfriend Liz who were amazing hosts and also Jon Jenkins in Arizona who they had a great few days with. Sam documented the trip on a shitty old phone, these are a collection of blog updates he done at various internet cafes along the way.



Monday, September 7, 2009.

after the most unsuccessful journey ever we finally arrived in LA. first off we missed the bus to the airport then we got to the airport had some food and missed the plane, so 5 hours and 180 bones later we were on the next plane and 5 movies after that we were getting scooped up by negrete and fred. after being awake for 30 hours we enjoyed our 6th meal of the day and brandon told me how he got his bad ass bullet hole in his car. definitely gonna try get one in mine when i get home, it gives any whip a real edge. when we got to brandon and liz’s place sean and umberto were already passed out. apparently umberto’s fucked his back up but i haven’t had a chance to speak to him yet because he’s still unconscious..if the smell of deep heat is anything to go by i’d say it’s probably true though. we’re supposed to be picking up the van today and heading straight to san fransisco so i don’t know when i’ll get to do another update because i probably won’t be able to get on the internet and my phones out of battery already with no charger.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009.

the internet connection has been a bit sketchy at brandon’s and we’ve hardly been at his apartment all week anyway so i’m really far behind on updates but every time i get a chance i’ll post a couple days worth of stuff up at an internet cafe. after spending a bit of time trying to sort out a fake id for umberto we headed into hollywood for some breakfast and a quick vintage store session then loaded up the laggin’ waggon and headed to san fransisco via the american apparel sweatshop where we got some super cheap gear and then later realised it was all ripped to shit. we ended up having to pull another all nighter because we arrived in san fran at 6am and they wouldn’t let us check into the hotel until 12pm. so we went and got some breakfast at sparky’s which was cool then hit amoeba and searched through thousands of cd’s to replenish the vans jukebox. we decided not to bother sleeping when we checked into the hotel because we only had two days in san fran so we spent the rest of the day eating and lurking around the golden gate bridge which we never actually saw although we walked along it for a bit because it was covered in fog. later that night we went to a cass mccombs show which was real mellow and made a few of us pass out on the bar, we thought we were going back to the hotel after that but it turned out the driver wanted to party more so at the next club $100 worth of jagerbomb’s were purchased to get us back in action. it worked out nicely and i don’t remember much after that until we got kicked out of the hotel the next morning with a $30 fine because someone fell asleep in the stairwell. we got some breakfast to soak up the poison and then headed out to some spot the other side of san fran which turned out to be haggard as fuck after what looked like an entire bmx display team had been sessioning it with spiked pegs. we managed to get a few things done and then went to 3rd and army to finish the day off, i can’t believe how far apart the spots are here we literally spend half the day in the van. on the way back to LA we stopped off to look at the san fran skyline and cop another look at the fog covered golden gate bridge. umberto bought me a tequila lolly and then told me he was scared of worms so i wound him up for the entire 6 hour journey with the worm inside the lolly which passed the time nicely. i’m in an internet cafe and my times up so i won’t be able to check this, enjoy the spelling mistakes and typos and your next reading time treat will be in the form of an eventful night in long beach.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009.

started the day out with a trip to some kind of mexican complex that had loads of floors of cowboy boots and hooky goods, we went to the top floor and got some tacos for breakfast while a sombrero wearing band serenaded us. then we walked around another mexican market down the street for a bit. hit some spots in la which unfortunately i don’t have any photos of because i was skating all day. found an internet cafe which we’re sitting in again right now, need to find a way of uploading photos in here then you might get some more regular updates as this all actually happened a week ago so i’m struggling to remember it. the plan was to go to an art show and party in long beach and then head back to la and leave for vegas in the morning..we went out to long beach and they had a band playing out of a garage into the street and loads of kegs, after that we went to a club where fred played the creepiest drunk sex pest at pool for about an hour. negrete thinks he’s the man at foosball but i’ve been playing with a bashed up wrist so we’ve organised a re-match for next week so i can hold it down properly for england. after brandon’s never ending barrage of bragging we went and got some more mexican food from a place across the street called holy moly guacamole which was tasty but when they went outside the van had been towed away. i don’t know exactly what happened because i was still enjoying the all you can eat natchos that came with my meal but there was a lot of anger being directed down a phone in the parking lot. turned out we couldn’t get the van from the impound place until 8am the next morning. it was only a 4 hour wait but we ended up cramming 9 people in michael “obi” obedoza’s car and headed to someones house to finish the kegs and get some sleep. sean passed out on the floor as soon as we got there then umberto passed out on someones bed shortly after and the guy was so polite when he got home instead of waking him up he went and slept at another house. i don’t even know where lee went and brandon, liz and me were given a blow up bed with no pump adapter. after we unsuccessfully tried to pump it up for about half an hour chris got involved and managed to ghetto rig an adapter out of cardboard and fill it with some comfortable californian air. we went and collected the car after a few hours sleep and enjoyed a nice $280 fine. vegas was postponed and the rest of the day was spent sleeping and in bars. don’t know when i’m going to be able to get the next update online because i have no way of getting the photos uploaded at the moment but i’ll try work something out.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009.

we went out to san bernardino to hit a spot on the way to a bbq and swimming pool session which was much needed after weeks of gas station food. the next day we headed to san diego to meet up with tommy boy, jeff, marcus and hayden. we got there pretty late so only had time to hit a few spots and then we headed back to jeff’s place for some beers and to watch tommy boy interrogate umberto for shock which was hilarious. loads of other stuff happened but i can’t remember it for the life of me now..i’ll try harder on the next updates...

Thursday, September 24, 2009.

we had a couple of wasted days due to the whip. we went to pick up a car to take to vegas as there was only 4 of us going but the company we went to had no cars left and we ended up stranded for half the day and then taking a maze of shuttle buses all afternoon to try find another rental company near lax. it came through in the end though and we got hooked up with a beast of a dodge. we took it back to brandon’s and then all went out to party in hollywood. the club we went to was amazing, it had loads of old video games and beds everywhere. also there was a guy on one of the podiums rocking the best get up and slaying some killer dance moves all night. we got back in the early hours and all passed out, fred was having a whiskey sleep and didn’t wake up in time to move the car in the morning so it got towed again which is a record for us as we only had that one for about 11 hours. half the day was spent trying to get it back which set us back another $280, i decided to hang out with brandon’s cat while they did that and lee and umberto had a press up prizes for guessing who won. when the car finally arrived we went out to santa monica for the night, hung out on the peer, looked for sharks in the sea and then ate some shrimp at bubba gump’s which went down a treat.

Monday, September 28, 2009.

it was third time lucky with our trip to vegas..well nearly, the car hadn’t been towed that morning but we got it one block and then realised the tire was punctured. none of us were too keen on putting the spare on in the middle of a sketchy neighborhood but eventually we had to man up and get it done. lee got bored after two screws and started skating the curb with umberto but kindly brought the gun show back to tighten up the bicycle wheel we found in the boot. we then went to the rental place to get a new tire put on but instead they just gave us a whole new car which was cool because ours was full of shit already and stank. 4 hours later than we wanted but we were on our way to vegas, i don’t remember much of the journey because it was dark and desert which make a pretty boring combination so i took the opportunity to catch up on some sleep. we did stop at a few horror show middle of nowhere petrol stations though (even worse than the one on the way to kings lynn). when we eventually arrived it was pretty late so we just took a quick look around and got some beers, still can’t get over the fact they expect you to tip for beers here. one bar bird janked two dollars from my change without even asking. the hotel was pretty nice and lee accidentally went the long way on an emergency trip back to our room so we got to see a good amount of the corridors. the next day me and lee went to get some good food and find some pest pants for the hot tub while everyone else just kicked it in the hotel. later jesus came to meet umberto with his new tattoo gun and inked him up. then we got some beers and jesus talked me out of tattooing my feet because he thought it would get infected when i skated so we went for the shins instead which felt lovely. jesus is a really nice guy and possibly the best sketch artist i’ve ever seen but he’s one shady fucker with a tattoo gun so we all ended up looking like we’ve done porridge. after we finished the beers and had a little wander around the mini zoo in the hotel garden most people passed out, i decided it would be a better idea to take advantage of more sleep time in the car the next day and headed back out into vegas to see what the other hotels and casinos had to offer. lost some money playing blackjack but then cashed in on roulette and decided to quit while i was ahead as my pocket was already pretty severely dented by the $1000 and growing list of fines we’ve had to pay. found a really funny karaoke bar and got befriended by a crackhead, she turned out to be pretty interesting though even if 90% of what she said was bullshit..the only downfall was she followed me everywhere i went after that and i even had to give her a really awkward hug before making a dash for my hotel room. pretty sure you get karma points for being nice to crackheads though so i should be quids in.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009.

after an eventful few days in vegas we headed further across the desert to phoenix arizona. the journey there was long but good because it was the first time we’d seen the desert in daylight. we stopped off at lake mead and hoover dam as well as loads of sketchy middle of nowhere gas stations. we even met a lady with full mustache in a middle of nowhere jerky shop which led to about four hours of people singing “take me to the jerky shop, let me lick your moo hoo stach”. on the ten hour journey we figured out the only chocolate that you can successfully eat in the desert are m&m’s and that beers go from ice cold to cup of tea hot in about 8 minutes so you have to drink fast. when we eventually got there we realized we had no way of contacting jon jenkins who we were staying with because umberto’s phone had run out of battery and that’s where we’d saved his number. i don’t really know how it happened but we ended up giving some guy four beers to go in his apartment and charge umberto’s phone for a bit, it was pretty awkward standing there while it charged and then his girlfriend came out the toilet and wondered what the fuck was going on because she could hear loads of french and english people in her lounge. anyway we got hold of jon and dumped our stuff at his apartment, we then headed to walmart to stock up on fresh socks but lee went balls out and bought the full home comfort set; fresh towels, pillows, another air bed, sock, pant the lot. a guy offered to steal it all for us for $20 and then said “welcome to america” but we opted for the checkouts instead because we’d already had enough of the strong arm of the law. on the way back to the apartment we stopped at a garage which then got robbed while we were in there which was pretty scary, i guess janking stuff is big in arizona right now. that night we hung out at jons place and got a sneak preview of his new dvd ‘wake up‘ which looks like it’s going to be amazing. most our time in arizona was spent filming with jon but we did manage to visit revolution skate shop which was cool because it’s been all of our favorite place to buy blade stuff for a long time. james and gretchen are both really nice and we hung out and chatted to them for ages and then james joined us on the session that day and documented it for their blog which was cool. if you haven’t checked their shop out yet i highly recommend it, they have one of the best online services worldwide too. you’ll even be able to buy dirt box there soon. the heat was crazy, i asked for a cup of water and got given a cup of ice which i was annoyed about at first but then when i stepped outside it was ice cold water within a matter of minutes. jesus’s plan for the shin tats didn’t work out because he didn’t put them high enough so my liners still went over them which made skating pretty painful and messy, taping sanitary towels to my shins definitely isn’t one of the classiest things i’ve done. lee twatted his shin really bad at the last spot we were filming at and missed out on skating the massive outdoor concrete park we kicked it at that night which he wasn’t happy about. we went to a house party which turned into a really funny night, umberto brought this lighter gun which electrocutes you really bad when you pull the trigger. we’d been getting people with it on the whole trip but it really came through hard at this house party, there was a couple of girls that got annoyed because we didn’t give them enough attention so jon deployed the shocker and shocked the shit out of them. we were on a balcony and all we heard was a massive scream and then jon saying “gotcha’ bitch” which had me in stitches for hours. then he noticed the other “waste of time girl” had passed out on a trampoline so him and umberto started leaping around on it and sent her about seven feet in the air straight to her head, some ufc looking meat head wasn’t happy about this and they narrowly avoided starting a trampoline brawl which would of ended the night perfectly. the next day we slept, filmed a few last minute clips and then hit some thrift stores , shops and a bar before heading back to la. i can’t thank you enough jon, james and gretchen for an amazing time in arizona. we’ll be coming through again for sure.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009.

we were all completely knackered after skating in the arizona heat and then being up all night for the journey back to la so we done a good amount of sleeping before heading out late for some pizza, a thrift store stop and then a quick trip to a new spot in long beach which didn’t turn out to be as good as we hoped. we got to hang out with some good dogs and sink some 40′s though so everyone was happy. later that night liz took us bowling which is my worst nightmare because i’m physically incapable of rolling a bowling ball in a straight line. luckily i was drunk enough to accidentally get two strikes and for the first time in my life not loose. i did regain my title on the second game though and got probably one of the lowest scores that bowling alley has ever seen. liz managed to get to her car before her friend ian noticed she still had the bowling shoes on then we ended the night with a near puke inducing number 9 from jack up ya box keeping the 3 a day fast food diet on track.

Thursday, October 1, 2009.

woke up early and headed over to lonnie’s with brandon to help him and victor pack the last of the too faded orders. when we got back from UPS there was another parking ticket waiting for us, this time only $50 though and the car was still there so as far as tickets go it was one of the best so far. it was too hot to skate so we killed a bit of time by going to a thrift store and buying a rack of brand new designer jeans to then sell to another store in an attempt to make the money for the parking ticket. later in the afternoon we hit a few spots around LA and then spent the evening in a big concrete park. we stopped by king taco on the way back which lived up to it’s name but came with some side effects. when we got back the cat had popped lee’s air bed again which he wasn’t very pleased about because by this point he had spent about $60 dollars on them and didn’t want to buy anymore, we had to go out after that to perk up the deflated mr mainland. some killer european dance moves and many thimbles of american beer had him back to his chipper self in no time.



Monday, October 5, 2009.

went out and got some breakfast at a diner before our last session filming with brandon. lonnie, victor, jeremy and rodney came out to meet us and we went to a few spots around LA. lonnie was rocking some hybrid xsjados with a brake on the back and doing some wild skids which made me miss the days of roller hockey and airborne knee slides. after that we headed to venice beach to get our tourist on and chill for a bit. there were some crazy people about, my favorite was a jamaican guy that jumped off a chair onto some glass but made it into a massive show so you didn’t think he would do it but then in the end he did and fucked his feet up. that night everyone was pretty beat so we went to the cinema and watched moon which was a weird film, still can’t decide if i liked it or not.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009.

it was our last day so we decided to take a trip to mel’s drive-in and get some good food. after an hour and a half of feasting on burgers, ribs, milkshakes and curly fries we wandered around some record stores and went to get some souvenir ink stabbed into our arms. that night we went for some beers and then hung out at lonnie’s, there’s an ihop on the bottom floor of lonnie’s apartment so in the early hours of the morning we ended up in there attempting to cure some chronic munchies. then to end the night we got involved in the funniest/most awkward elevator situation ever. the next day we packed all our stuff, said our goodbyes and headed for the airport. i managed to get one block with my bag before one of the wheels fell off and i had to drag it the rest of the way which was a great start to the journey. when we got back to england we realised we’d lost our bus tickets which meant a last minute internet session and mad sprint to the finish line. it’s been an amazing month and we’d all like to thank brandon, liz, john and everyone else that we met for their hospitality and some killer memories. now it’s time to sleep for a week and then try and acclimatize to english winter again.